Tag Archives: learning

God Lives through Us

“To believe in a God incapable of experiencing that which comprises the vast range of human experience is to misunderstand.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 2:I

I want to believe that this is accurate channeling, because it supports an idea that I have long written about in this blog:  God is living through us.  If we are a part of Him, which Jesus’ channeled writings say, then it seems to me very evident that He knows.  Yes, he knows when we are going through a bad patch.  He knows when we need a helping hand.  He knows when we are getting downhearted and could use His wider view.

It is better not to misunderstand, though with our finite minds we frequently do.  A Course in Miracles has words that seem to indicate that only the Holy Spirit knows about us, because we are caught in illusion, and God does not know illusion.  But there is reality deep within us, and this reality, I believe, is “God-stuff.”  So the fact that we spin illusions does not mean that He lacks the will or the power to know what we are experiencing.  Here Choose Only Love seems to second this interpretation.  God knows, regardless of how deep into illusion we have fallen.

If we suffer, we have a helping Hand.  If we are in pain, He reaches back to us.  And His experiencing of what we are going through does lighten the burden.  I believe God also knows why these bad things happen to us.  We don’t know this; at best we have guesses only.  The mystery of suffering will remain a mystery as long as love is incomplete in us.  Love heals always, and if we love enough, A Course of Love indicates that healing is a fait accompli.

When times get rough, remember that God is experiencing right along with us.  His infinite mercy will ease the pain, give us back a good life.  We may never know why the rough patch is necessary, but A Course in Miracles says that we don’t have to learn through pain, that learning through rewards is more lasting.

Ask to learn, or to discover, the best way today.   Through rewards, not pain.

This can and will happen for all of us, when we stay attuned to our Creator.

Learning Better through Peace

“This is what you have believed and why you have not chosen yet to accept your inheritance. Yet let the memory of the truth return to you now and you will see that peace is all you have sought learning to attain. If you do not pause now and accept that it is here, you will not know the Peace of God that is your own Self.” (ACOL, T1:10.13)

The “this” to which Jesus refers in this passage is the belief that in extremes of emotion we will come to know more than in the peace of God. It seems that intuitively we are on a spiritual journey of evolution, not physical so much as emotional, and we think that the drama of our egoic life has taught us much. So we are loathe to give that drama up.

Yet such an analysis, such a belief, is a misconception. We can actually learn much more when we are at peace, and this is the essence of what Jesus is saying in the passage for today.

We won’t believe him until we test it out. So let’s do just that. Get in a Zen frame of mind, peace personified, in any way that you know. It may come from reading prayers that others have written, it may come from writing in a journal, it may come in setting up a dialogue with our Maker. It may be listening to soothing music, surely a standard for all of us. In whatever way has worked for us in the past, let’s get into a reverent frame of mind by eliciting that frame of mind from environmental cues.

When finally peaceful, frame a few questions in our minds. Ask for solutions to what has been troubling; don’t hold anything back. As A Course in Miracles says, the solution is always with the problem, and so, if our mind is quiet, we will soon get glimmerings of an Answer from a Holy Source.

This is the beginning of knowing that we can learn best through peace. We don’t need those dramatic extremes to reinforce our spiritual evolution. They have been a distraction, for who can remember God when we are melodramatic and overwrought?

Turn to Peace in God today. The day will flow more smoothly. The week, as well. Time will cease to be pressured, and we will become quite knowledgeable about our own inner workings. We will be getting somewhere at last.

Prayer

We need peaceful means to approach You, and these peaceful means, in Your Presence, do solve intractable problems. The solution is always with the problem; we don’t have to wait for a working out to have quietude in the midst of our lives. We can live peaceably, regardless of the circumstances.

I would have peace today. I would know that whatever I am experiencing holds the seeds to a dilemma that I might have been having. This experiencing, when I am attuned to You, is evidence that a smooth pathway is opening up for me. Thank You.

Be with me today, all day long. I am trying to have a good day, but trying, without You, avails nothing.

Amen.

Living with Certainty

1 – Conclusive

“[The Treatise] will. . .be conclusive. . . .[I]t will do this only to reach a conclusion of certainty from which you can live. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 1.2)”

2 – Overview

The Treatise on the New is the fourth and last treatise in the second volume of A Course of Love, and the entire volume is entitled, Treatises of a Course of Love. This final treatise is written to prepare us for the final book in the trilogy, the Dialogues. The Treatise on the New is a preparatory book to lead into a new age for us in our knowledge of living as the elevated Self of form. At this point, at the beginning of the Treatise on the New, we are not yet ready to turn to inner knowledge only. We still need external guidance in the form of these words.
We are trying to reach a certainty about how to live that will serve us well in a sometimes alienating world. This certainty has eluded all of us, perhaps particularly those of us who are drawn to A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Many of us have been seekers all of our lives, and elsewhere Jesus specifically addresses this point. We have always thought that understanding (and knowledge) would be found in the “next” book or the “next” speaker or the “next” experience of religion.

3 – Seeking

Jesus would have us step back and to reassess. He says here and elsewhere, repeatedly, that the seeking is to come to an end. There are things that we know, in the most inward way, and yet we still do not trust our knowing. Jesus would have us to leave all of this foolishness behind, and to trust that we do have the certainty that he is, once again, showing us in this treatise. Once again, he is trying to get his message across, this time with a finality that was not fully accepted by us through studying both the New Testament and A Course in Miracles.

4 – New Readings

Always we have sought a way to be sure, to be certain. In the Twenty-First Century, we do have new readings that point the way for our time and place.

5 – Learning

We are getting ready to leave learning in the old way, through intermediaries, behind. We have sought our Way through readings, primarily, and sermons, sometimes. But now we are going to learn through the observation of our relationships in this world. We will dispense with the intermediaries and see directly.

6 – No Disappointment

We will not be disappointed.

7 – Chosen

“A question has been asked and a response is awaited. Are you willing to be chosen? Are you willing to be the chosen of God? All are asked. What is your answer? (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 1.5)”

8 – Asked

The crucial part of this quotation is the statement, “All are asked.” All to often, we think that being “chosen” somehow excludes others. But Jesus says that all are chosen. All can come to know, and come to know now. We no longer have to wait for someone else, some other reading, to show us the way.

9 – Old Ways

This is welcome news indeed. Seekers, such as most of us have been, have constantly looked to the “next,” the next reading, the next sermon, the next lecture. But there has to come a time that we cease seeking. And that time is almost upon us now. This treatise, and the succeeding part, the Dialogues, will show us that seeking in the old ways is not desirable any longer.

10 – Home

We will be home at last.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live today with the certainty that You love me. May I live with the certainty that, soon, the seeking will reach a glorious conclusion. I do not have to look always for the “next” pathway, the one that will give me peace and reassurance, ultimately. The time for this reassurance is at hand.

May we prepare ourselves for a new way of thinking, a new way to find solace in a sometimes difficult world. We know that Jesus leads us precisely, and that we do not have to be on an endless pathway of seeking. Thank You for that knowledge. For so long we didn’t know any better. We thought that further seeking was the only way that we could find You. Now we know that we are ready. We have learned enough. And You are here to welcome us home. Thank You.

Thank You for these words of Jesus. May I read and interpret correctly. And may you stay by my right hand always in these moments, guiding my thoughts to fuller understanding.

Amen.

Ceasing to Learn in the Old Way

1 – Learning

“Learning is not meant to last. This is why even this course work comes to an end. It comes to an end here and now as we move past study and learning to observation, vision, and revelation. (A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 9.1)”

2 – Controversial

This first quotation from Treatise on the New is startling in its implications, and well it is meant to be. To say, “Learning is not meant to last,” is a controversial assertion. If we believe that it is Jesus who says it, we will think twice before dismissing whatever might be meant. The whole Treatise on the New seeks to explain what awaits us as the old ways of learning fall away from us.

As readers, we have been seekers, probably all of our lives. We have longed to know of the hidden things of heaven and earth. Surely many who preceded our time in this world were also seekers. It is our blessing to have more words of reassurance upon which to draw, words from these more recent readings. Many of us do view both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love as channeled writings of Jesus.

3 – Relentless Seeking

Are we to keep seeking through our reading, and through other means, relentlessly? Is there a place where we will rest easy, that we are justified?

4 – Transformation

A Course in Love indicates that there is a time when learning, as such, ought to cease. Or perhaps to be transformed into another means of coming to know. It does take a a bit of “learning” to understand what is meant by “observation, vision, and revelation.”

5 – Observation

“Observation” is akin to noticing what surrounds us, even in this sometimes misguided world. “Vision” and “revelation” are familiar words from A Course in Miracles also. Vision gives us the means to see, and it is viewed in ACIM as a gift of the Holy Spirit. Revelation is viewed in ACIM as a gift of God, and proceeds from God to us (never the reverse). A significant passage from ACIM indicates that revelation may occasionally reveal the end to us, but to get there the means are needed.

6 – Welcome News

It ought to be welcome news to us that there comes a time to end learning in the old way. We do still learn, of course, but the new way is effortless—mainly through observation of what surrounds us in this world. And, if we have been following Jesus, what surrounds us will have been transformed. We may see suffering and pain, but it won’t affect us in the same way that it used to. We will simply categorize all suffering and pain as unreal. It is not of God, and so it is unreal, a manifestation of illusion in a world of dreams, a world of unreality.

7 – Hard

Learning in the old way has always been hard, even when we were enjoying what we were coming to know. It takes work, intense concentration, and it tires us out.

8 – New World

Jesus would have us learn from him now that in the new world, we won’t be so overcome with fatigue from being faced with an impossible learning situation. Such learning situation are essentially disheartening, and very depressing. The new way of observation will mean that we learn effortlessly, and this is something with which all of us can look forward to experiencing.

9 – Time of Christ

ACIM is meant to be those means for the time of the Holy Spirit. A Course of Love, meant for the time of Christ, takes us a step farther along.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As I reach forth to understand what living in the time of Christ really means, may I be reassured that You are always there. This time is what many generations have waited to find.

Be with all of us as we embark on a consideration of the Treatise on the New. Give us understanding that comes not from fretful learning, but from the vision that comes to us effortlessly.

Thank You for my life during this time.

Thank You that I can be reassured that my life does not have to be a constant seeking, that there is an end point, a point of arrival. Help me to know what this means as my pathway ahead unfolds.

Amen.

Life Is a Channel

1 – Day 21

“The first transition. . .is about a letting go of any of the ideas that you may still have that an outside source exists. There is no such thing as an outside source. There are no outside sources of wisdom, guidance, or even information.

2 – There Is No World

We cannot reach outside ourselves for wisdom; we can only incorporate what resonates with the inner Self. If we try to reach outside ourselves, we are really just experiencing the larger Self, for we are all One. Jerry is a part of You; you are a part of Beverly. All is One. And All is God. So reaching outside is absolutely not possible. Why, then, do we not take the next right and realize that it is only wisdom from within, that we have assimilated unto ourselves, that will save us?

3 – Learning

We are still trying, albeit less often, to listen to the teachings of others and thus to “learn.” But Jesus has said that the time of this type of learning is over. We can still receive inspiration from others, but to take another’s word for something that you haven’t experienced is the most tremendous folly. We can be inspired by this person’s story, but it is our own experience that saves us.

4 – Don’t Always Listen

Don’t listen to any exterior words unless they form a resonating cord in your own heart. Don’t take unto yourself anything that another says that sounds foreign to you, to Your Self. For you will try to absorb amiss. It is only your own Self Who can make decisions about your future course of action. Only your Self knows what is right for you.

5 – Pattern of Learning

“This was true even within the pattern of learning you have been familiar with, for in order to learn, the source of wisdom, even though you may have seen it as existing outside of yourself, had to function as what it was—a channel through which the wisdom, guidance or information moved. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 21)”

6 – Time of Learning

This quotation says that even in the time of learning, when we listened intently to what others said to us, we still did function only to absorb that which was meaningful within our own experience. Unless we were coerced, and this rarely happened except in childhood, we were bent on adapting our way to others’ ways that seems close to what we were coming to believe. If the words made no sense to us, we dismissed them out of hand. We did not waste our time trying to absorb the message if it seemed foreign to our experience.

7 – Wisdom / Guidance / Information

We were letting wisdom, guidance, and information flow into ourselves, though we did not yet know that there was an inner Self Who sought to guide us. If we were following A Course in Miracles, we were listening solely to the Holy Spirit, or Universal Inspiration. And we were well led.

8 – Holy Spirit

But still we listened to God, for the Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity. And this similitude was not lost on us. We longed to have a Hearer in God, in the Holy Spirit, and Jesus himself had promised us that he would hold our hand as we walked along. So Christ was present, too, even before we knew that we partake of the Christ.

9 – A Channel

“You realize now that life itself is a channel and that you are constantly receiving. You still perhaps think in terms of receiving meaning that there is something given from a source beyond the self, but this is the ‘thought’ that has to change. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 21)”

10 – Nothing Outside You

There is nothing outside you (from A Course in Miracles). This is why we don’t receive anything that is outside, for there is nothing outside.

11 – Theology

This is theology, and it may be hard to accept. But lean a while into the concept, and see if it doesn’t make sense in view of the fact that we see God as One, as the Whole, as the All. We are part of that All. We are a hologram that contains the whole in each part. And each part can receive meaning from the Whole at any time.

12 – Union

“No intermediary is needed when you exist in union. It is recognized that the knowledge, wisdom, guidance, or information that is needed each moment is available within each moment and that the interaction, rather than being one of taking something from an outside source into the self where it is learned and then regurgitated or even applied, has given way to an interaction that begins within and extends outward. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 186)”

13 – External Sources

Day Twenty One elaborates upon the previous day’s commentary. We are led to understand more completely that we cannot rely upon external sources for the truth. We are led to realize that we cannot even rely upon Jesus to impart the truth to us. We must reach inward, and in dialogue with the Self that is the All of us, we will come to know. This will not be an external seeking, but an internal transition to relying on the Self.

14 – Jesus

Jesus is preparing us to cease thinking of him as our teacher. He has said in these commentaries that he is our companion, but he is resigning as our teacher. We are not to look outside ourselves for the answers, but to turn inward. Ideas such as these are reiterated throughout the Forty Days and Forty Nights.

15 – Giving and Receiving

Life itself is a channel, and we are constantly both receiving and giving. There is nothing channeled to one that is not always available to all others. Teacher and learner are equal, an idea that was presented in A Course in Miracles; in ACIM, though, it was said that only time separated the teacher from the learner, because the teacher temporarily knew more, and was therefore in a position to help. In these concluding chapters to A Course of Love, we are led to realize that time no longer separates the teacher from the learner. We have walked farther along the pathway. We are assuming Christ-consciousness for ourselves.

16 – Mountain Top

“You began your mountain top experience with a companion who had offered himself as a teacher in order to bring you to the place of being willing to accept that a teacher was not needed. He joined you on the mountain top in order to prepare you for his departure, a departure from reliance upon him that would allow you to arrive at reliance upon yourself. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 21)”

17 – Bottom Line

This is the bottom line of what Jesus has been trying to tell us in the Dialogues. He is not the teacher anymore; he is an equal who seeks to be received as a companion. We don’t look to him in the same way that traditional Christianity looked to Jesus, because we have moved beyond this understanding. Jesus is still very much a part of our faith, and he is still our leader, but his responses to us are not predicated on his knowing a great deal more than we can come to know ourselves.

18 – Self

We need to rely on Self, but in that Self is the Whole. So there is no need to stop praying; we need prayer to God, even though we know that we are God, as blasphemous as that may sound on first reading. We don’t have the union with all that God has, but we do have a relationship with those outside of our bodies. Their minds are, though, joined with ours, and together we walk to home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for reassurance that I have come farther along on the pathway, and that union with the Self that I am will answer my questions. I want to be in union with You. I do not want separation any longer. Help me to know union with You.

I do what I can. I don’t always do the right things, but I do try. All of us do try. Help my brothers and sisters to walk aright this day, and please help me. May this day go well in all particulars. Be with me as I walk through this day. Help me to make the right decisions, the ones that are in Your Will. Don’t let me go off on tangents, making decisions that aren’t appropriate to the situation. May I read Your desires accurately today, for I know that Your Will and my real will are identical.

Thank You for the spectacular promise of this day. I do not have to rely on external sources, but I only need to turn inward to You and the Self that I am.

Amen.

Learning Is Not Meant to Be Effortful

1 – Thinking

“Learning was not meant to be linked with thinking. Again I’ll draw your attention to the learning of childhood. Learning begins long before the onset of the time of language that constitutes your ideas about what it means to think. (Dialogues, Day Four)”

2 – Children

This truth, that children learn before they have language, proves Jesus’s point that there is a way to learn, through observation, that is easy and requires no effort. We have long put great store by our learning abilities, that we put forth a great effort in school, and then we reap the benefits. But we make everything too hard on ourselves, way too hard. We may still sometimes choose to learn through effort, but this is not the optimal way. We learn best when we learn easily.

3 – Minds

Can we really believe that learning is meant to be linked with thinking? We give our minds way too much credit. We think that the thinking of the mind is what will get us back to Heaven, even. This is not true, actually, though learning in the old way might have been needed when we were assimilating the truths of A Course in Miracles. As we assimilate those truths, we come into a new era, an ear in which we seek to have the heart guide us, not the mind. And our learning proceeds through observation, not thinking.

4 – Language

“Even after the onset of language, children continue to learn without thinking. Does this sound odd, foreign to you? And yet this is the way learning was designed to be. Learning was given as a natural mean of access to all that was available to you, but not through effort any more than breathing was designed to be effortful. (Dialogues, Day Four)”

5 – Ego

So actually learning is not meant to be effortful. We made it that way, when we were consumed by the ego, the ego which always made things as hard as it could—thus approving its value to us. Breathing is not effortful, normally, and we are told here that learning is just as easy as breathing.

6 – Struggle

May we spend some time today deciding that what we struggle to learn is maybe best not learned.

7 – Personal Experience

I know that I worked very, very hard in college, attending a difficult school in which I ranked by ability in the middle of the class. But I wanted better than average grades, and so I sought to overachieve. College was not very much fun. My personality flattened out. I felt oppressed. And not until I had finished that dark time in my life did my personality come alive. So I know first hand that learning achieved through effort exacts a high price, a price that it would be best not to pay.

8 – Thinking as a Constraint

“Thinking, in this time beyond learning, could be rightly seen as a constraint you but try to impose on all that is natural. Your thinking, since it is a product of learning, does nothing but attempt to learn or teach. These are the natural responses of its training. Thus, a major key to your discovery of all that exists within you in the state of unity, is an end to thinking as you know it. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Four)”

9 – An End to “Thinking”

So let us “end” thinking as we know it. Let’s let the heart rule, the heart that listens to intuition, or the deeper Christ Self. (A Course in Miracles had termed this listening through the Holy Spirit.) We are said to be in the time of Christ now, and listening to the Christ Self is a harbinger of things to come. We are no longer in the time of the Holy Spirit. We have moved beyond as we read A Course of Love.

10 – Fear / Love

“You must realize that here is where fear must be totally replaced by love. If you fear to go where the portal of access will take you, you will not go. Thus your desire needs to be greater than your fear. Love needs to reign. Love of self and love of your brothers and sisters, love of the natural world, of the world of form that is, love of the idea of the new world that can be, all of these must come together and be victors over the reign of fear. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 113).

11 – New Temptations

The “new temptations” meant in this title are two: real choice and access. These are not negatives, but goals toward which we wish to go. We are leaving behind the time of learning, so that we learn through “thoughts that we do not think,” as a child does, and as early man and woman did–before language entered into our experience.

12 – Union

We must now want union in relationship to our brothers and sisters and our God more than anything else. We must find acceptance of ourselves, despite our anger or our depression, or anything else that seems to be imperfect. We are told that we do not have to be perfect, and we are reminded of the Prodigal Son, who surely did not feel perfect when he returned to his father. He only needed to accept the father’s love. That is our situation now. And unity is within ourselves; our God is within.

13 – Access

The portal of access is love and only love. Nothing else will do at all. This is the portal that here on the mountain top, we will discover with Jesus. We are only just beginning our 40 days and nights with him on the mountain top. More is to follow. But we would do well to realize that perfection is not required of us. Acceptance of love as the only way is. Fear must be left behind forever, and when we have done that, we will be Home.

14 – Jesus

“I do not have to spell out this choice for you, for you know exactly what it means. It means you will be as I am. It means you will live from love rather than from fear. It means that you will demonstrate what living from love is. It means that you will resurrect to eternal life here and now. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Four)”

15 – Guidance from Love

It is important always to live from love and not from fear. Guidance always comes from love, and if we think we hear a guidance that is telling us to protect ourselves with a sense of fear, we are really hearing the personal self that is not yet rid of the ego. Guidance does not rule us through fear, and any message that we receive that is fear-tainted is a false message.

16 – Protection

Of course, we can take prudent measures to protect ourselves from danger. But we are normally safe in everyday life, though there are those among us who find themselves in dangerous situations, and thus would find this assertion untrue in their experience. The world we inhabit can be a dangerous place, but we make it worse by our thinking of it in such a way. We defend, making that worse by our defense. We seek to protect ourselves at all costs, and we need to ask if this is really the heart-centered Self that we are protecting, or the ego of the personal or little self. It will prove to be, more than likely, the ego of the little self. And Jesus has declared that we, at this point, are free of the ego. If we have followed A Course of Love, we will know ourselves to be free.

17 – Christ Self

If we resurrect to eternal life here and now, we are living as our Christ Self. This is what we seek to do. This is home for us. Heaven is here and now. There is no waiting.

18 – Prodigal Son

“Think a moment of the story of the prodigal son. All that the prodigal son was asked to do was to accept his own homecoming. Do you think he would have considered himself perfect as he approached his father’s presence? Surely he would not have. You are asked but to accept your own homecoming. To leave behind the time of wandering, seeking, learning. To leave behind fear for the embrace of the love and safety of your true home. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Four)”

19 – Seeking

In A Course of Love, I believe that we are asked to leave behind the incessant seeking—the time of wandering, seeking, learning. I suspect, but this is an interpretation, that Jesus channeled A Course of Love because he saw many students and teachers of A Course in Miracles still seeking, though finished with these books. With what were we to replace the ego? I think that ACIM does not make this point as crystal clear as Jesus wished it to be. We replace the ego with the Self, and this point is made in ACIM, but it can easily be overlooked. Jesus revisits us with iterations of the answer in ACOL. We are to give up seeking, because we have at last arrived. And to say this is not arrogance, unless we truly are still tied to our egos.

20 – Homecoming

The prodigal son only had to accept his own homecoming. So it is with us. We need only to accept, as the first two days of the 40 days and 40 nights told us. If there are things about ourselves that we don’t like, things of our personality, we can ask, humbly, that these be removed, and watch them fall away. God is very powerful, and He hears our prayers, I believe. I don’t think that we are alone because we are lost in illusion. Now we are moving into the real world, the world just short of Heaven, and we have advantages from this vantage point that we lacked previously. We will see miracles wherever we look.

21 – Choice

“This choice has come before you might have expected it to. It does not come at the end but at the beginning of our time together for a reason. This is simply because this choice is the beginning. This is the choice that allows us to continue our dialogue as one. To talk heart to heart. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Four)”

22 – Hearts

We choose to listen with our hearts, and we make a choice to stop our incessant seeking. That is the choice that Jesus refers to in this quotation. We have arrived. Let us rest easy and be glad. We do not yet know everything that we wish to know, but we can rest—knowing that what we need will be revealed to us. We need not fear any longer that we will ever be bereft.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize that, like the Prodigal Son, I do not have to be perfect to be accepted by Jesus, to reach the heights that the mountain top experience is meant to bring to me. I may resist this concept, and so please guide my thoughts and feelings so that it is acceptable to me.

Thank You for this good day. I feel especially grateful for the congenial way in which people are interacting with me this day. It is not always so. We live among people who have many problems, and it is up to us to try to heal their problems by loving more strongly. We cannot heal for them, in many cases, but we can ask for miracles that will work in their lives to heal. We can be the instrument of that healing, but only when we ask guidance as to what we ought to do. Be with us as we sense Your Presence, ask for guidance, and then carry out the impulses that arise in us. Thank You for the sense of Your Presence always.

May I be united with love. May I drop fear. These are perhaps my two greatest needs, and these build on A Course in Miracles and are further explained to me now in A Course of Love. Thank You for helping me to devote my life and myself to love.

Amen.

Do You Still Select Some Aspects of Your Life to Bring to Your Learning, While Keeping Others Apart?

“The extent of the teacher of God’s faithfulness is the measure of his advancement in the curriculum. Does he still select some aspects of his life to bring to his learning, while keeping others apart? (M15)”

1 – Upset the Apple Cart

In the beginning of our walk to Awakening, we remain careful not to upset the apple cart. We bring part of our life, sometimes the small part that we formally devote to devotionals, to our learning toward salvation. We don’t surrender all. Oh, we may surrender, even surrender anew, from time to time, even frequently. Yet in our daily walk we keep some parts of our lives separate from Who we perceive God to be. We don’t want Him “controlling” us.

2 – Fallacious Reasoning

This type of reasoning is fallacious. Only when we bring all parts of our learning, in life, to God and the Holy Spirit do we really make progress along the way. Although at first, selectivity in what we bring to God is almost inevitable, later on we need to keep a tight rein on ourselves to be sure that we are not falling away. We need to relax in God’s love, knowing that nothing that the Holy Spirit bids us to do will undo us. Of course, we are fallible, and so we can misconstrue the Holy Spirit’s messages—His guidance—but not for long, if we stay close to the Divine. We will get hints that what we are about to say or do is not kosher.

3 – Judgment

At first we don’t give up judgment very readily; at first we don’t choose guidance consistently. This is because the world’s training has consisted of reliance upon judgment, our own judgment, about what to do or say. As we grow, we think that we are honing judgment to be a more complete and competent person. Eventually, we think, we will stand on our own two feet, not making mistakes, or at least not making as many.

4 – False Persona

This is wrong, for this type of thinking is of the false persona that we have adopted that is the ego. The ego is a part of our belief about ourselves, but a false part. The definition of the ego in A Course in Miracles is, I am quick to say, not the definition of Freud. He saw a strong ego as necessary to our effective survival and our living. But he defined ego differently. Freud saw ego as a unifying, coalescing piece of the psyche that mitigated between the id and the superego. A Course in Miracles, in contrast, sees the ego as a false persona, but one that we all develop. Yet life constantly undoes this false persona, because that is the way that life is set up. The ego, constantly being undone, throws us on a shift between joy (false joy) and despair. The thrills that the ego shows us in our dramas always cause tears of pain. ACIM notes that every flight of joy is matched by these tears of pain, bought at the cost of tears.

5 – Why?

Do we really want to live this way?

6 – Faithfulness

“Faithfulness is the teacher of God’s trust in the Word of God to set all things right; not some, but all. (M15)”

To believe the Course in all situations is to remain faithful to its tenets. This makes us faithful followers of its tenets. This only is faithfulness.

7 – All Things Set Right

We must believe that all things will be set right, not in some far-off future, but here and now. It all has to do with our perception. We project what we perceive (a Course tenet). If we can believe that the Word of God will set all things right, we do not have to take upon ourselves the “sins” of the world.

8 – Trust

“Trust” is mentioned in this passage. Elsewhere we learn that trust is the bedrock of the teacher of God’s faith. If trust goes, all else follows. We lose our faith, and we have slipped once again into egoistic thinking. If we attack, make judgments, or plan defenses against an unknown future, we have lost our way. We need to regain trust, and study of the Course is our way, our way Home.

9 – One Answer

“To give up all problems to one Answer is to reverse the thinking of the world entirely. And that alone is faithfulness. (M15)”

This passage identifies the giving up of self-control is favor of God-control, or control by the Holy Spirit, through our willingness to be led. Most people make this shift only very gradually, because the shift is seen by us, in the throes of the ego, to be personally insulting (a Manual tenet). The world has taught us to rely on our own judgment; we do, usually, not easily give this choice up, and we usually do so only in fragments. We choose some aspects of life to bring to the Holy Spirit, keeping carefully limited what we “tell” Him.

10 – Happiness

This is not the way to live well! All of us want to live well. Indeed, the Workbook, as well as other parts of ACIM, counsel us that happiness is God’s one intention for us. We may question this, thinking that happiness is not a lofty goal. Yet can we really help others from a position of misery? In such states of downtrodden living, we are normally turned inward on ourselves, and only begrudgingly offer solace to others at all. When I was in my early twenties, and in the grip of neurosis, I was not outgoing, and I did not like other people to the extent that would be normal. I felt that it was all that I could do to keep myself going, to solve my own problems. Little did I realize at the time that turning outward miraculously cures neurosis, curing personal problems at the same time.

11 – Readiness

“Yes each degree, however, small, is worth achieving. Readiness, as the text notes, is not mastery. (M15)”

God will take us where we are and go from there. When we are in readiness, the miracle happens. We are still a long way from mastery, but we need, at least, to cultivate readiness.

12 – Guidance

Readiness means that we do make a decision to follow guidance of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. We develop flow, and flow feeds on itself. We have a good day in flow, and the next day we want to have yet another good day in flow. “In flow” means that we move freely throughout our day, choosing easily because we are in constant touch with the Divine.

There is no better way to live.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

May I acquire this faithfulness that You describe. May I have the trust that You will set all things right.

If I study the Course, I will come to understand faithfulness. I do not fully understand now, but I hope to do so, with Your help. Help me to understand the Word of God in this matter of setting all things right.

Amen.

As We Teach God’s Lessons of Joy and Hope, Our Learning Finally Becomes Complete

1 – Convince Ourselves of What We Are Not?

“Everyone who follows the world’s curriculum, and everyone here does follow it until he changes his mind, teaches solely to convince himself that he is what he is not. Herein is the purpose of the world. What else, then, would its curriculum be? (M1 – M2)”

The ego is the important point to note here, for it is the ego that has us trying to convince ourselves that we are as we are not. The ego would have us believe that arrogant independence, standing alone, is the way to be strong and valiant. But A Course in Miracles shows us that we were never meant to be all alone and lonely. Our way to God is the pathway through our relationships. When we reach out to others, we are supporting them at the same time that we are allowing them to support ourselves. And forgiveness of our brother/sister is our way home.

2 – World’s Curriculum

The world’s curriculum also teaches that judgment of our own is a criterion for success in the world. We are led to believe to we need to hone our judgment so that we make better and better decisions as we grow older. Yet A Course in Miracles teaches just the opposite, for ACIM affirms that we cannot judge accurately, because it is impossible for us to know all circumstances—past, present, and future—that might affect a given decision. ACIM encourages us, above all, to place reliance in our guidance from the Holy Spirit. And we are led to understand that we will come to know through an inner knowing (and there are many ways to come to an inner knowing). Our way home is prepared by the guidance that we hear, and follow, from the Holy Spirit. And this knowledge, for it is knowledge and not perception, is contrary to what the world’s curriculum seeks to teach.

3 – Teachers of God

“Into this hopeless and closed learning situation, which teaches nothing but despair and death, God sends His teachers. And as they teach His lessons of joy and hope, their learning finally becomes complete. (M2)”

Jesus says elsewhere that the world needs us now. It is in a bad way, as all of us know who listen to the daily news. It is a “hopeless and closed learning situation,” and Jesus is looking to us to change the situation to something better.

4 – Teach. . .and Learn

As we teach, we learn. As we have been saying, there is no other way. When we teach that joy and hope are our rightful inheritance, we too learn this. We are traveling farther on the pathway to Awakening.

5 – Jesus’s Teachers

We are Jesus’s teachers (once we have completed the workbook of the Course). May we let our own neuroses drop away, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and may we do our part to save the world and all people in it from unhappiness and hopelessness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know that as I teach joy and hope to a desperate world, I will find that my learning has become complete. Thank you for this reassurance.

May I turn to the world and seek to help the people in it in their distress. Jesus needs me, and to believe so is not arrogance, but the truth.

Thank You for Your many blessings. I can’t say that strongly enough or often enough. You have given me many, many good things for a good life throughout a lifetime that has included some challenges. All of us have problems, but when we recognize that Your solution comes with the problem, all is well able to be resolved. Thank You.

Amen.

Teaching Goes on Every Moment of the Day, and Continues into Sleeping Thoughts as Well.

1 – To Teach Is to Learn

“The course. . .emphasizes that to teach is to learn, so that teacher and learner are the same. It also emphasizes that teaching is a constant process; it goes on every moment of the day, and continues into sleeping thoughts as well. (M1)”

2 – Simultaneously

Teaching and learning occur simultaneously. When we teach, we are teaching ourselves as much as another person. Indeed, we are often teaching ourselves even more, for by teaching a given truth, we have accentuated its validity in our own minds.

3 – All the Time

Teaching goes on all the time (ACIM tenet). We don’t recognize that when we act badly, we are then teaching as well. So if we are to be good examples, we need to watch carefully. Learning also goes on all the time. Teacher and student are only separated by time, and time does not really exist (ACIM tenet).

4 – No Choice

“The question is not whether you will teach, for in that there is no choice. The purpose of the course might be said to provide you with a means of choosing what you want to teach on the basis of what you want to learn. (M1)”

5 – Teaching All the Day

When we go through our days, we are teaching–whether consciously or otherwise. And what we teach we learn. Not only, therefore, are others affected, but especially ourselves as well.

6 – Teach Something Good

This passage recommends that we make a choice to teach something good in our lives. In so doing, we are learning something good. There is no other way.

7 – All Are Teachers

All of us are teachers; whether or not we are a teacher of God is very much our own choice. The Course says that we cannot claim this title until we have gone through the workbook, because we are learning through the teachings recorded therein (and in the Course as a whole). May we choose to teach God, not the ego. May the Holy Spirit guide us.

8 – What We Teach

“Any situation must be to you a chance to teach others what you are, and what they are to you. No more than that, but also never less. (M1)”

We are talking about teaching in everyday life; we are not teaching in the formal classroom. The classroom, if we wish to think of it this way, is the whole world. And we expose ourselves in our daily lives with our teaching. By so doing, our relationship is enhanced. We do not have to be so private all the time. Sharing ourselves actually steps up the relationship by allowing us to see what we are like on the inside. They trust us more when we let them in.

9 – The Teaching Underlying What You Say

“It is the teaching underlying what you say that teaches you. Teaching but reinforces what you believe about yourself. Its fundamental purpose is to diminish self-doubt. This does not mean that the self you are trying to protect is real. But it does mean that the self you think is real is what you teach. (M1)”

Several themes play through this passage. We are, in whatever we say or do, trying to reaffirm our self, or, more precisely, what we think is our self. This does diminish self-doubt. But we may become certain of the wrong things, for the self that we teach may not be our real self.

10 – Displaying Our Personality

If we pay attention to what we are displaying as our personality, we may reassess this persona. We may decide that we really don’t want to present a shabby self-image. This need is particularly important so long we are in the grip of neurosis. If we second guess ourselves, hesitate to speak up at reasonable times, and cringe when someone corrects us, it is likely that the ego has developed a neurotic persona for us.

11 – Jesus

Jesus can and does heal neurosis. Studying A Course in Miracles is one of the best ways that I know to develop a positive persona. As long as we forgive, and we see a reason to forgive, other people, we will walk a smooth pathway. It is when we hold grievances and resentments that our way seems so tough. And our persona so negative. Let’s vow to give up negativity today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I teach what I want to learn. May I be led by the Holy Spirit to know what that good teaching is.

Help me to be clear about what I want to learn. This will help me to teach the right things to my brothers and sisters. May I have Your guidance as I make my choice of what to teach.

Amen.

When Plans Went Awry

“Unless life goes the way you have intended for it to go, you do not feel gifted or blessed even when you may have looked back often on situations that did not go as you had planned and nevertheless gifted you with experiences or opportunities that would not have arisen had your chosen plan come to fruition. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 10.18)”

Affirmation: “I am blessed even when my plans go awry.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Testimony

I do know that the way that my life has evolved has been the best for me. Before I learned from A Course in Miracles that plans are discouraged unless the Holy Spirit prompts planning, I made lots of plans–many of which did not come to fruition. But it has been better this way.

2 – Personal Experience

I wanted to return to graduate school and get more prepared to teach English. But jobs were scarce, and my ultimate choice to go to library school proved advantageous, not only because the job market was better, but also because of a personal need to increase extroversion. I needed to learn to cooperate with others in a better and more consistent way, and because library work demands teamwork, I did eventually get better at working with others in a smooth way. If my ambition of English teaching had panned out, frequently I would have worked alone with my students. And besides being emotionally draining for me, this choice would have left little chance for teamwork.

3 – Joseph Campbell

So chosen plans went awry, and, looking back, I see how that is best. Joseph Campbell is quoted in A Companion to Joseph Campbell as saying that now, life was coming up very sweet for him. I feel the same way. There is an advantage to attaining maturity. It stills some of the fruitless ambitions of the young adult years, and it gives a peace that was not attainable at an earlier age.

4 – When Young
manet - lady with parasolBut if you are still quite young, you may think that if only a given pathway, a given plan, works out as you wish will you be happy. This is a fallacy, but only time will teach you that. Nothing that I say will really make any difference. So Jesus has it right in A Course of Love. We don’t appreciate our plans going awry.

5 – Time

But the benign passage of time will show us that what is transpiring is truly for our own good.

6 – Learning

And, as we proceed through our lives, we will come to know that learning is continuous and ongoing (from ACOL). We do not reach a static state, remaining there, even though the turmoil of the ego would have us long for such a state. When we let the Christ Self rule, we will be free of turmoil, and we will know that there is no end to learning and evolution in that learning (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL). And we will be glad that there is no end to learning. We will continue to evolve, and we will evolve through quietness and peace–“perfectly calm and quiet all the time” (from ACIM). This may not be our goal right now, but time will let us see that what Jesus has recommended is best.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the course of my life. I know that the life that I lead now is good and true, and that I would have walked a harder pathway, for me personally, if I had chosen another vocation. So You knew best all along, and You closed doors that would have opened that other vocation. But there was an open doorway farther down the path, and I took it and never looked back. Thank You.

May I learn today, as I will continue to learn through time. But the learning will be easy and effortless, and the outcome what You wish, if I follow Your guidance. Thank You for granting me the will to follow You, for there is no better way to live.

I would learn through observation of my life and my living. I would learn through my holy relationships, turning all special ones into holy. May the day go by peacefully as I turn on a dime to follow You at all times.

Amen

Coming to Know Once Again

monet - blue flowers
“Why, then, is this called learning? Learning simply means to come to know. If what you know has been forgotten, you still are in need of the learning that assists you in coming to know once again. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 10.11)”

Affirmation: “I would learn about salvation today.”

Reflections:

1 – Forgotten Much

We have forgotten much. That is the reason that salvation needs to come to us. We have learned much, but often we have learned the wrong things. And we have learned things that are not eternal, often wanting those things just because they weren’t eternal.

2 – Observation

Now we move to learning that which will stay with us. And we learn, we find from elsewhere in A Course of Love, that we learn through observation, not intense study. We rest easy in this world, looking both inside and outside, for our learning. We learn, most of all, through guidance, because guidance lets us know what to do next. Following intuition is one of the secrets of a successful life.

3 – Intuition

When I am particularly obstinate on any given day, I am not inclined to follow intuition. My ego has moved back in ascendancy, and I am not having a good day. This happens to all of us to one extent or another.

4 – To Start the Day Anew

But it does not have to be so. We can take a quiet moment of reflection to start the day anew, as Jesus recommends in the Text of A Course in Miracles. We can always start the day over, and indeed we really ought to do so if we are consistently choosing a different action from the one that intuition is prompting.

5 – Learn Anew

We need to learn anew, to learn once again. We forgot vital things eons ago, and just now are we coming to our own again. The way is not hard, though it may be long. Millions of years long, but we who study the way of ACIM and ACOL can shorten this time for ourselves and others. Sometimes a thousand years and more are saved (from ACIM).

6 – Learn Aright

Ask for the right way to learn today. Don’t delay, for delay is likely to be of the ego, which tries to make everything that is easy, difficult. Difficulty is of the ego, for Jesus’s way is smooth and peaceful and effortless. Ask for his way today. He will show you what he means and how to do it.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would start my day aright. I know that I can always start the day over again if things go awry, but why waste time? I wish for a good day. I ask You for a good day. And I ask to learn what I need to learn to be ready for You to choose consistent Awakening for me.

May all of us walk the path today. May all of us help each other, to the extent that any of us are willing to be helped. The day goes smoothly when we are calm, tranquil, and when we reach out to others. Thank You for this insight.

Amen

By Leaps and Bounds Formerly Reserved for Angels

“Thus again is your learning advanced by leaps and bounds formerly reserved for the angels. You are your own wings, your relationships but the breeze that keeps you afloat. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 8.8)”

Affirmation: “I am my own wings, but I need my relationships to keep me afloat.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus’s Expectations

In A Course of Love, Jesus expects a great deal of us. He indicates that our learning will advance mightily as these days speed by. We make our own decisions, I think he is saying, but we almost desperately need our relationships to stay afloat. We cannot thrive if we are too much without others to help us along. We help others, and they return the favor. We may be introverts, but all of us need people to a degree. Extroverts already know this.

2 – What More Could We Ask?

“. . .By leaps and bounds” is a great reassurance. And this wonderful, gigantic progress was formerly reserved for angels! What more could we ask, for our God has given it all to us!

3 – Learning through Observation

We need to learn, but in A Course of Love we learn through observation. We do not study intently, with great effort, to absorb what Jesus is saying to us now. That intense study served us well in the past, especially in A Course in Miracles, but ACOL is read differently. We need to read it, and read it repeatedly, but with a casual eye, as though we were reading a story. The message will infiltrate our minds and hearts without strenuous effort, and, indeed, strenuous effort would derail our purposes in learning now.

4 – A Gentle Way

So be glad that our way is gentler now. We do not so much have the ego getting into the act. We do leave aside the ego for periods of time, periods of time that will lengthen as the days pass. And we will be led home gently, without struggle and effort. Read A Course in Love with a warm heart, and its words will take that attitude of the heart, and blossom that attitude into something that will indeed feel as though an angel has touched us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the reassurances that you are giving today. I need to hear such reassurances, for stress still comes to visit me, regardless of how often I intend to have calm and peace. My good intentions, I well know, do not suffice. I would turn to You often to keep me on an even keel. Surely You will give me the blessing of Your presence as I seek to navigate through troubled waters.

This world is sometimes difficult, but I know that the world seems this way because my perception has become skewed. I would return my thoughts to You, and in that comfort I would receive Your blessing. I ask for Your comfort as the days proceeds. And may I sleep with calm mind and body tonight.

Amen

Your Worth Is Not Established by Teaching or Learning

degas - ballet“Your worth is not established by teaching or learning. Your worth is established by God. As long as you dispute this everything you do will be fearful, particularly any situation that lends itself to the belief in superiority and inferiority. Teachers must be patient and repeat their lessons until they are learned. I am willing to do this, because I have no right to set your learning limits for you. Again,–nothing you do or think or wish or make is necessary to establish your worth. (T-4.1.7)”.

Affirmation: “My worth is sure, established by God.”

Reflections:

1 – Conditional Love

Children who have been subjected to conditional love, and that includes most people (young and old), are not likely to grow up to have a sense of worth that is recognized as separate from achievement. Only children and first born children are especially susceptible to the false idea that they must “do” to establish their worth. Indeed, many feel that they will not be loved if they do not measure up to the ideal that their parents have inculcated in them. If good grades are encouraged, a child may feel that he/she will not be loved unless those good grades are brought home. And there are many variations on this theme of unworthiness, or of worth that has to be proved by deeds.

2 – Do / Think / Wish / Make

What a welcome change the passage for today can make in the minds of those who first come to A Course in Miracles, and especially for those who read the Text first. (Note: There is not prescribed order in reading the three volumes of ACIM.) “Nothing you do or think or wish or make is necessary to establish your worth.” Jesus uses four verbs in this sense, as though he wishes to cover all the territory of our false thinking about worth.

3 – Fear

Farther on, Jesus indicates that if we cling to trying to measure up to be worthy of God, everything that we do will be fearful. And fear is of the ego. Here he is beginning to set down the limits of what the ego can do for us. And the limits are enormous; in fact, innumerable. The ego has led us down a false path, and we will be the better for it only if we learn how to turn aside from the ego. The ego is here defined as a part of our belief about ourselves (from the Text), but it is the coalition of false values. The ego is constantly being undone, because we cannot have both Awakening (toward which we are headed) and listen to the ego. The ego will always mislead.

4 – Emphasis

Jesus repeats these words about worth to emphasize, I think, their importance to the undoing of our thought system. To my way of thinking, this particular passage is one of the more important in all of ACIM, because it goes to the heart of our self-image. We are children of God, and we are already worthy because of that status.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You so much for this lovely, lovely passage. It is one of the most helpful, for me, in all of A Course in Miracles. I learned that I don’t have to achieve to be loved. I learned that You accept me just as I am, Your child. Thank You for the knowledge of this great blessing.

May I fret no more about conditional love. That is all in the past, and the conditional love was from individuals who only meant well, wanting me to live up to my potential. May I forgive completely and totally.

Be with my brothers and sisters who are struggle under conditional love. You love all of us, completely unconditionally. We don’t have to “measure up.” We are alright. You are transforming the mistakes into the pathway that You would have us walk.

Thank You.

Amen.

Life Experiences

pissarro003“You might ask, how do you learn what you have failed to learn previously? . . .Your life must become your teacher, and you its devoted pupil.  Here is a curriculum designed specifically for you, a curriculum only you can master.  Only your own life experiences have led to the learning you have accumulated and translated into beliefs.  Only your own life experiences will reverse the process.  (A Course of Love, 23.29)”

Affirmation:  “My life experiences will now reverse the failed lessons of the past.”

Reflections:

1 – Reverse the Learning of the Past

How do we reverse the learning of the past, the egoic learning that so misled us and made us miserable?  We must simply take the next step that seems right to us, as we listen to our hearts.  We can reverse any and all egoic tendencies, and in so doing we will learn anew and, this time, learn aright.

2 – Are We Learning Aright Now?

How can we know that what our life experiences are teaching us, now, is correct?  We can answer one simple question:  How do we feel?  Are we finding joy in the midst of everyday experiences, however painful they may be?  Are we happy, in spite of these inevitable difficulties?  And do the difficulties seem to be a breeze for us, where earlier they might have derailed us entirely?

3 – Follow the Heart

If we are following our hearts, there will be a noticeable decline in painful experiences.  What we need to learn will still be presented to us, and sometimes struggle will be involved, but when we turn to God in communion, our burdens will lighten immediately.  Not hours later, bur, if we believe strongly enough that God is helping us, the burdens will lift immediately.  We will know that this blessing has occurred when the day seems somewhat lighter to us, and we ourselves feel lighter.  We are, finally, listening to God, as well as our brothers and sisters.  There is no end to the ways in which guidance can come to us.  But come it will, when we turn gently aside from the egotistical ways that previously directed our path in this world.

4 – Reverse the Separated State

Our life experiences will then be in a position to reverse the isolated and separated state in which we have believed ourselves to be.  We will learn joyful lessons, so different from the misery that we brought upon ourselves by keeping God out of our lives.  We will attract the good by our attitudes.  Our calm and peace will envelop us, and we will turn to God instinctively, as the day progresses.  And as each day passes into a new one, we will find ourselves ever more ready to affirm God’s blessings.  We will know that we are on the right pathway, finally.  And if we are honest, we will recognize that we did it all to ourselves!  God is ever more eager for our healing than we ourselves are, as Norman Vincent Peale, an inspirational author/pastor of the last century, said.  In our own experiences, we can know that Dr. Peale was right.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to listen to my heart today.  If another intervenes between my heart and myself, may I know how to respond, because we are influences by others’ agendas.  May all work out for the best, as You have taught.

Be with me as I seek to learn from my life.  May my life experiences not be a drag upon me, but a joy.  May I regret nothing from the past, knowing that all that I have lived through has prepared me for each next step.

Amen.

Effortless Ease

“Even those who feel the power of these words within their hearts and vow to go slowly and carefully through each page and section, giving total dedication to what this text would have them do, are at risk of trying too hard to be earnest rather than simply desiring to learn.  (A Course of Love, 11.3)”

Affirmation:  “May I read ACOL with simple pleasure.”

Reflections:van gogh - house

1 – Trying Too Hard

Jesus seems to be saying that those of us who have studied earnestly are perhaps trying too hard.  He has say elsewhere that there is an effortlessness about salvation, an effortlessness that many of us have never given any credence.  May we give credence to the ease of salvation today.

2 – Learning Mode

In the first volume of the trilogy, we are still in learning mode and have not yet advanced to the observation that will stand us in good stead for the rest of our lives.  We have sought and sought, seeking new and different methodologies, new commentaries on salvation, and Jesus seems to tell us in A Course of Love that we have not recognized when we have actually accomplished what we set out to do.  We just keep seeking, never stopping, never looking inward, but always going to yet another outward source.

3 – A Time to Be Finished Learning

But there is a stopping point.  And Jesus says in the Dialogues of A Course of Love that the time to be finished with learning is now.  This is, however, the third of the trilogy, and now, still, we are in learning mode in this, the first volume.  Perhaps we need to start a bit of practicing for what will follow, to disengage a bit and realize that what we need to learn will come easily, peacefully.

4 – Jesus

Can you imagine Jesus in his life on earth, struggling to understand what he read in the Torah?  I think not.  When he read the scriptures before others, he asserted that this day what he was reading was fulfilled, and he meant “in him.”  This kind of authority, to my eye, is resplendent throughout A Course of Love (and also A Course in Miracles).

5 – Be Glad

Let us listen to the authority of Jesus, and be glad that we do not have to work so hard to learn.  We can just let the words sink in.  And with a grateful heart,, we will come to understand those words.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I read A Course of Love with effortless ease.  Even as I seek, in reading this first volume, to learn precisely what Jesus has to say.  May my days be spent inn effortless ease, as he would also counsel.  His way is not hard, and it is our own ego, not yet withered away, that seeks to have us try to hard.  Our minds get in the way of our hearts.

Help me throughout this day.  May we rejoice in all that Jesus has said in ACOL.  His way is surely easy and peaceful, and he would have us walk a joyful path.

Amen.

Choose the Heart and Bypass the Mind

“As you read, be aware of your heart, for this is where this learning enters and will stay.  Your heart is now your eyes and ears.  Your mind can remain within your concept of the brain, for we bypass it now and send it no information for it to process, no data for it to compute. (A Course of Love, 3.14)”

Affirmation:  “May I be aware of my heart today.”

Reflections:

1 – An Appeal to the Heart

A Course of Love appeals, in this early section of the first volume, to the heart.  (Later on, Jesus will appeal to both the heart and mind, and call this “wholeheartedness.”)  The heart does not demand proof in the same way that the mind, so recently bereft of the ego, does.  We risk falling back in to the ego whenever we rely too heavily upon the mind (an interpretation, not stated in either ACIM nor ACOL).

2 – Heart Knows Love

The heart knows love.  And therefore does not demand the intellectual gyrations that all too often the mind tries to engage in.  The heart “listens” with an inner ear to Jesus, and therein knows the truth of what he speaks.  The heart is our next step to Christ-consciousness.

3 – Bypass the Mind

Note that Jesus here says that he will give no more words to the mind to comprehend.  He will bypass the mind.  And this is good.  For too many of us have sought and sought, gone from one system of thought, especially religious thought, to another.  And we have never gotten the green light to just stop and be satisfied.  Until now.  In A Course of Love, Jesus says that the seeking is over.  We are accomplished.  We have reached the conclusion of the pathway.  And we are safe in Jesus’s arms in an embrace (to be considered later in this blog).

4 – All Is Well

Be grateful to the one who walked before us on this pathway.  We do not have to feel alone ever again.  Of course, most of us know intellectually that we are not alone, but here we feel the solace in our hearts.  And all is well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would “listen” with my heart today.  I would not try to understand through the limited ways of the mind, the learning that we are leaving behind in A Course of Love.  May I entertain some of those “thoughts that I do not think,” just as Mari scribed ACOL.  May this new way of discovery be the way that I walk, beginning today.

Amen.

Learning through Rewards vs. Learning through Pain

“No one who learned from experience that one choice brings peace and joy while another brings chaos and disaster needs additional convincing.   Learning through rewards is more effective than learning through pain, because pain is an ego illusion, and can never induce more than a temporary effect.  (T68)”

Affirmation:  “Learning through rewards is more effective than learning through pain.”

Reflections:

1 – We Do Not Have to Learn through Pain

This passage is very important.  It assures us (as Jesus also does elsewhere in the Course) that we do not have to learn through pain.  Here he even tells us that learning through pain will be a temporary learning at best.  We long for a breakthrough to the joy that is ours to claim, and then the learning can commence in earnest.

2 – Study of ACIM Brings Increased Peace and Joy

Anyone who has studied the Course sincerely over years will have experienced the increased peace and joy that come with this study.  Of course, if there were no peace and joy, the effort would probably have been given up fairly early upon discovery of the teaching.  Not everyone, of course, finds his or her “home” in A Course in Miracles.  But many do, and if you are reading this, it is likely that you are one of those who will benefit greatly from your study of the Course.

3 – Pain Brings Only a Temporary Effect

It is enormously gratifying to know that someone like Jesus says that pain brings only a temporary effect.  So long in our world we have brought pain upon ourselves and our world, and we have believed (when we reflected) that we have learned something from this pain.  But here Jesus makes it plain that our pain is not wanted by God, and, especially, that God did not “cause” our pain.  We do not have Him to blame, but only ourselves and our mass hallucination (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  We can turn to reward whenever we wish.  We just need to ask the Holy Spirit for help in how to proceed.

4 – Choose to Learn through Rewards

Jesus would have us learn through rewards, because he would have us happy.  Elsewhere he defines happiness as our function.  This may be hard to believe for individuals who think that some sort of higher goal would not mean true happiness for the self.  But the Self does not know this logic.  Happiness is intended for us, even here in this world.  May we go forth to let our light shine in the joy that the Course promises.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know that pain is an unnecessary way to learn.  I ask that I learn through rewards, which is the only lasting learning.

What a grand promise this is!  Thank you.  That You want my happiness is a great blessing for me to realize.  May I know that any so-called higher goals do not entail my sacrifice or my unhappiness.

Amen.

Learning in an Insane World

“You learn best when you believe what you are trying to learn is of value to you.  However, not everything you may want to learn has lasting value.  Indeed, many of the things you want to learn may be chosen because their value will not last.  (M66)”

Affirmation:  “learn what is of value”

Reflections:

1 – Why Learn Something Not of Lasting Value?

Why would we choose to learn something that is not of lasting value to ourselves?  This seems to be a paradox, and perhaps it is.  But when we realize that we may have chosen whole careers that were not chosen for the right reasons, we may realize that the ego has been involved.

2 – A Course of Love

Certainly we have been so reared in an egoistic world that we may love learning just for the sake of learning itself.  It may seem to be heresy to question this love of learning.  But in A Course of Love, we are told that there is a time for learning to cease, and to move forward in our lives by “observation.”  We do not have to think the egoistic way.  Knowing can come to us without irritable reaching for fact as well as fancy.  We can just know, because the Holy Spirit (and later, the Christ-consciousness) just tells us.  We know about our world almost as soon as we have asked internally.

3 – Careers and Relationships

We probably had problems in those careers that were chosen for less-than-the-best reasons.  More than just careers have been involved, though.  Our choices in relationships may have been flawed as well.  Our insanity covers a great deal of our lives.

4 – We Have Help

Whether we are “learning” or “observing,” it is evident that we don’t get where we are trying to go without help.  We are supported every step of the way.  And it is important to acknowledge that we realize that we are not doing all this by ourselves.  It is only the ego that wants all the credit, and surely the egoistic way has been discredited by now in our minds and hearts.

5 – The Valuable Is Lasting

We can learn best when we turn to learn those things that are of value.  And those things are always lasting.  Surely we can do this as we learn from the Course to choose aright.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May we choose only those things that have lasting value.  May we turn aside from those things that do not have lasting value.  May we not be tempted to learn those non-lasting things because they do not have value.

I know that the ego is involved when I reach for something that cannot be sustained.  Help me always to choose aright, and this means that it is time to leave the ego behind.

Amen.